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Title: Flower strips and remnant semi‐natural vegetation have different impacts on pollination and productivity of sunflower crops
Authors: Mota, Lucie 
Hevia, Violeta
Rad, Carlos
Alves, Joana
Silva, António
González, José A.
Ortega‐Marcos, Jorge
Aguado, Oscar
Alcorlo, Paloma
Azcárate, Francisco M.
Chapinal, Libertad
López, César A.
Loureiro, João 
Marks, Evan A. N.
Siopa, Catarina 
Sousa, José Paulo
Castro, Sílvia 
Keywords: Agri-environmental schemes; Aagroecosystems; Flower strips; Pollinators; Semi-natural vegetation; Sunflower; Visitation rates; Wild bees
Issue Date: 2022
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of British Ecological Society
Project: info:eu-repo/grantAgreement/EC/H2020/773554/EU/Stacking of ecosystem services: mechanisms and interactions for optimal crop protection, pollination enhancement, and productivity 
SOE1/P5/E0129/Poll-Ole-GI SUDOE 
info:eu-repo/grantAgreement/FCT/POR_CENTRO/SFRH/BD/116043/2016/PT/Evaluation of green infrastructures for pollination services in sunflower crops 
info:eu-repo/grantAgreement/FCT/POR_CENTRO/SFRH/BPD/123087/2016/PT/Sexual behaviour in deer: the role of proximate and ultimate factors in reproductive strategies 
info:eu-repo/grantAgreement/FCT/6817 - DCRRNI ID/UID/BIA/04004/2019/PT/Centre for Functional Ecology 
Serial title, monograph or event: Journal of Applied Ecology
Abstract: 1. Intensification of agricultural landscapes to fulfil increased global food de-mands has dramatically impacted biodiversity and ecosystem services. Several pollinator groups, which are vital for the maintenance of pollinator-dependent crops, have been severely affected by this intensification pro-cess. Management tools, such as the implementation of agri-environmental schemes, have been widely proposed to improve pollinator's communities and pollination services, although the effectiveness of wildflower strips in com-parison to existing natural or semi- natural habitats and the impact on yield has not been fully demonstrated. 2. Here, we aimed to assess the effect of flower strips implementation near sun-flower fields in two intensive agricultural regions and to quantify their impact on visitation rates and sunflower productivity. Data were obtained in two regions in Spain (Burgos and Cuenca) in sunflower fields with associated semi- natural veg-etation (SNVs), with implemented wildflower strips (WFSs) and without vegeta-tion structures (NonVs). Visitation rates were monitored over 2 years by direct observations, and both sunflower seed production and weight were assessed in 52 fields per year. 3. Our results revealed regional and inter-annual variation in visitation rates, likely driven by structural differences in the landscapes studied. In Cuenca, character-ized by more heterogeneous and floral resources- richer landscapes, the effects of WFSs were significant in the second year of implementation, with higher visi-tation rates and productivity values in fields with implemented wildflower strips compared to those without. In contrast, in Burgos, no consistent effects among field treatments between years were observed. 4. Synthesis and applications. The implementation of flower strips or maintenance of remnant semi- natural habitats adjacent to sunflower fields showed context- dependent effects on pollinator visitation rates and crop yield. In highly sim-plified agroecosystems, these interventions may be insufficient or may need longer times to produce significant effects. Yet, in regions where natural and semi-natural patches were already present, the implementation of flower strips was a successful strategy to promote pollinators and sunflower productivity.
ISSN: 0021-8901
DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.14241
Rights: openAccess
Appears in Collections:I&D CFE - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais
FCTUC Ciências da Vida - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais

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